Braden Deagle couldn’t do much better at the area high school track and field championships last week on his hometown Stettler track.
Deagle went five-for-five with gold-medal performances in his four individual events and as part of the intermediate boys’ relay team from William E. Hay Composite High School.
Deagle, a Grade 11 student, won the 100- and 200-metre races, along with the long jump and the triple jump.
He teamed up with Jacques du Toit, Andrew Kim and Braeden York to finish first in their 4×100-metre relay.
Top-two finishers from the area meet qualified for the Central Alberta zone championships, which are scheduled for today at the Stettler track.
“I’m feeling pretty good, but I’m a little nervous for (this) week,” Deagle said after the area meet last Wednesday.
“I remember how stiff the competition was last year at zones, so I’m a little nervous for that, but I think I’m feeling better in my running events this year.”
Deagle took the advice of Wildcats coach Anthony Jones in adding another running event last week and opting out of the high jump.
“I was actually signed up for high jump, and the morning of (the meet), Mr. Jones tried convincing me to drop it and take the (200m run),” he said. “Then in the afternoon, I decided to do that and give it a go, and it worked out.”
Deagle won the 200 in 24.14 seconds and took the 100 title in 11.46, ahead of silver-medallist Kim in 11.90. In the 200, Kim placed fourth and du Toit was fifth.
Deagle believes that seeing familiar faces at the start of a race is beneficial.
“It’s a little stressful (running against teammates), but it’s a little encouraging, too, because you have them to support you, as well,” he said.
“You’re not feeling like you’re running against a bunch of people that you don’t know. It’s kind of hard to race against people you don’t know, because you don’t know how well they’re going to do.
“It gives you something to push yourself a little harder.”
Deagle, who transferred to Stettler from Consort this school year, played high school basketball with Kim and du Toit with the Wildcats this past winter. Deagle and Kim are soccer teammates with the Stettler under-18 team this spring.
As a long jumper, Deagle went all the way to the track and field provincials as a junior last year.
His best event last week, however, was “probably the 100,” he said.
“I didn’t jump as well as I did last year in my triple and long jumps, so I’d probably have to say the 100 was my best event that day.”
Deagle had Stettler company on the medal podium last week. Particularly strong was the Wildcats’ intermediate girls’ contingent, including the likes of Dacia Gramlick, Corey Garbutt and Carly Armstrong. All of them were multiple medallists bound for the zone meet today.
Although the Stettler representation is thin at the senior level, Austin Cherewko had a strong meet in running events, just a few days before his graduation Saturday.